Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Keene Sentinel Publishes AGH letter on Change out Program

Dear Editors,

Tuesday, Dec. 17, 2013 in Keene NH.
Keene is surrounded by hills,
trapping wintertime wood smoke.
The upcoming Keene woodstove changeout program could well become a national model for such programs. No other change out program in the US has had such a high rebate amount ($1,000) for all applicants.

But the long term benefits of the program will be undermined unless the City of Keene is able support it with some other measures. For example, anyone in Keene can go out and buy a new polluting wood stove that uses a loophole to avoid EPA emission standards, and install it tomorrow. What's the point of giving $1,000 rebates to take polluting stoves out of commission if you allow more polluting stoves to be installed? To remedy this, the Keene City Council needs to pass an ordinance requiring that any stove installed in Keene has to be EPA certified. This will also help prevent people from buying and installing old, second hand uncertified woodstoves in the City of Keene. Scores of old, polluting woodstoves are available in southern New Hampshire on Craigslist for as low as $75. Washington State and California already ban installing uncertified stoves but in most of the US anyone can buy a $200 stove made in China that can foul indoor air, as well as outdoor air.

Many of us in the woodburning community believe that to promote wood burning as a viable low carbon renewable energy, like wind and solar, we have to incentivize cleaner burning stoves, and phase out the most polluting ones. Woodstoves are an excellent and relatively inexpensive way to reduce your carbon footprint. A $1,000 - $2,000 woodstove can shave 3-4 tons of carbon from your carbon footprint every year, often the equivalent of what a $10,000 - $20,000 solar or geothermal system will shave off.


John Ackerly,
Alliance for Green Heat

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